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  Life Lines
    The cornerstone of TARAhaat's Distribution Network is the TARAhaat Marketing Associate (TMA), a self-employed local individual, whose compensation, after an initial brief period, is exclusively based on commissions from the sale of products and services designed for the rural markets. TMAs are recruited from locally based unemployed youth and trained to sell and provide marketing and customer care services at the village level. A range of needed products and services has been developed and will be expanded further over time. Over the past year TARAhaat has trained over 100 youth and fully tested the viability of its distribution strategy.

   From these pilots it has been demonstrated that the TMAs can handle a portfolio of products and can be trained to sell door to door. They quickly recognize that a portfolio of complimentary products will allow them to better serve their
communities and create trust for the quality and utility of products marketed under the TARAhaat Brand. Multiple products also ensure that TMAs can generate an income from commissions, which offers them a living wage and provides them with a respectable employment, without having to leave their communities and homes.

Training programmes to equip TMAs in effective door-to-door sales and marketing, customer care, and quality control have been developed in house and fully tested. Over the next year monitoring and reporting systems will be developed and deployed to ensure that TARAhaat can track the results and benefits of its Distribution initiative.

We are working through a model where Distribution Services will appoint and train Rural Unemployed Youth as TARA Marketing Associate (TMA) on a 100% commission based program. Once these TMAs will be well equipped with product training and selling techniques they will move to their respective cluster of 20 villages to sell cook stoves designed by Development Alternatives. The prime objective of reaching one million households will be achieved through this strategy only. To achieve the said target TARAhaat will open 52 districts.

The Distribution services are designed to leverage TARAhaat's expanding Network of Franchised cyber enabled centers, called TARAkendras, and located in villages and small country towns. Currently located in the states of UP, MP, Chatisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab, the network will also continue to expand in to other states. This Network is managed and supported through district level TARAhaat field offices staffed by a team of qualified professional. Over time TARAhaat's field Infrastructure, which supports its TARAkendra Network, will also be leveraged to provide a robust low cost support structure to TARAhaat's Distribution Services network. Recognition of its rural distribution network has enabled TARAhaat to develop alliances with institutions and organisations such as ICICI Bank for financial services, Philips for energy efficient lighting products, Microsoft for education related products, the Government of India – UNDP's ICT4D programme for Enterprise Development services, SCOJO Foundation to market reading glasses, and many more.
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